It seems censorship is set to strike the Fire Emblem series yet again in the upcoming Fire Emblem Fates, according to a direct statement from Nintendo of America. A controversial support conversation that caused a significant stir in the Japanese release will be absent from the Western release of the title.
The conversation in question brings up issues regarding the casual use of drugs and homosexual conversion. In particular, the female character Soleil is unknowingly given a dose of ‘magic powder’ by the male protagonist to help her become more comfortable with the opposite gender. This leads to her developing feelings for the protagonist, and subsequently proposing marriage. Without context, this is a thoroughly questionable topic to cover, particularly under the generally innocuous Nintendo banner. Although censorship is a hotly debated topic in gaming, in a situation like this, it is difficult to argue against Nintendo’s decision.
The official statement from Nintendo of America reads as follows:
“In the version of the game that ships in the U.S. and Europe, there is no expression which might be considered as gay conversion or drugging that occurs between characters.”
The Fire Emblem franchise has been no stranger to censorship in the past. Several images depicting underage characters underwent significant alterations or removal from the previous entry to the series, Fire Emblem Awakening. There has been no official word as to the extent of the censorship this time around, though it is worth noting that Nintendo hasn’t always been so forthcoming about these changes.
Fire Emblem Fates is set to launch on February 19, exclusively for the 3DS. Two distinct versions will be available, each presenting a different story path, with a third branch available as downloadable content.